Healthy and easy Zucchini pesto

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Healthy and easy Zucchini pesto

Zucchini pesto is a fresh and fragrant condiment variant of the classic Genoese pesto; in this case made with raw zucchini, pine nuts or almonds, parmesan, extra virgin olive oil and fresh basil! 

A classic pesto of Italian cuisine, perfect for making a creamy pasta with zucchini pesto, dressing bruschetta, simply spreading on toast, enhancing many summer dishes! Excellent both cold raw and hot sautéed with pasta or pizzas!

What I give you today is one of my workhorses that I always prepare every summer with seasonal courgettes! I often freeze it and keep it for the winter; so as to have a fresh Zucchini pesto always ready in the freezer just in case! This is a quick and easy recipe that requires no effort!

The secret to excellent Zucchini Pesto is to drain the grated zucchini perfectly; in this way you will get a dry pulp that once blended in a mixer with all the other ingredients, will give you a full-bodied, velvety zucchini pesto, a thick sauce that does not run water perfect even to spread raw!

Instead of pine nuts, you can use almonds, but also hazelnuts it is important that the dried fruit is shelled and without skin! 

Follow the recipe step by step with all the tricks and tips and you will see that you will discover a fresh and new Pesto perfect for seasoning pasta of all kinds, from penne, spaghetti, fresh tagliatelle!

Enrich tasty bruschetta, croutons, toast and sandwiches, fill pizzas, focaccia, make colorful appetizers. Also ideal to accompany second courses based on fish, meat, eggs, to give any dish creaminess and flavor.

Zucchini pesto
Zucchini pesto

Recipe Difficulty Level: super easy

Ingredients:

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  • 200 g (7 oz) of small zucchini
  • 30 g (3 tbsp plus 2 tsp) of pine nuts (or a mix of cashew nuts/peanut and pine nuts)
  • 15 g (0.5 oz) of fresh basil leaves
  • 30 g (1 oz) of grated parmesan
  • 80-90 g (2¾–3¼ oz) of extra virgin olive oil
  • 30 g (1 oz) of pecorino
  • Salt

Method:

Clean the zucchini, cut the extremities, and cut them into small cubes (if you have only big and watering zucchini, I suggest you grate them and let them drain for 30 minutes. Then squeeze them a little bit).

Clean and dry the leaves of basil.

In an electric blender, put the pine nuts, the basil leaves, the cut zucchini, and 40 g (1½ oz) of extra virgin olive oil. Mix until you obtain a creamy pesto.

Add the grated parmesan and the grated pecorino. Blend. While blending, pour 50-60 g (1¾–2 oz) of extra virgin olive oil. Add salt.

Boil the pasta in salty water and drain. Warm the pesto (do not boil it!) in a pan.

Mix the pasta with the sauce, and add fresh extra virgin olive oil or water (use the water that you have used to boil the pasta; in this way, your sauce will be creamier!).

Your pesto is ready!

Enjoy! Buon appetito!

Conserve it in a glass jar, with a little bit of olive oil on the top. You can keep in the fridge for a couple of days.

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